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Omaha at Human Scale: Transit dependence requires dependable transit

11 Dec
Interior of a Metro Bus

Madeline Brush is a member of the Mode Shift Board of Directors.

I am legally blind, meaning I cannot drive a car. I depend on Metro Transit to get around Omaha.  I usually take the #15, to go to Midtown Crossing. When I get to 32nd and Farnam, I get a coffee, or grab some Chinese food. It is unfortunate that the route frequency is only every 30 minutes — if it’s on schedule. Since I have limited vision, it is difficult for me to read the street signs. Public transportation is great and affordable, but I wish all the bus drivers would announce the numbered streets. Some of them do, especially if I tell them where I need to get off the bus. Sometimes they forget when it is a longer bus ride.


The second bus that I take often is the #2 on Dodge street.  My mom and siblings live near the route, so it is easy for me to catch the bus downtown and get off  at UNO. From there I can walk to see my family. I know to request a stop when I see the
the green pedestrian bridge near UNO.  I go to Dundee often. I can get off at 50th and Dodge and walk to my favorite businesses. 

I am excited for ORBT, Metro’s Bus Rapid Transit or the  BRT. I will be able to pay with my smartphone, and the new buses will have an automatic audible announcement  the upcoming stops.

Route 2 to Westroads

I have heard from a few bus riders that their bus is not dependable. I tell them to call or email Metro — they want to hear from the public if the service isn’t working. Metro is making improvements to the system with new bus shelters and buses and more technology to connect passengers. As someone who depends on the bus, I am grateful Omaha is investing in public transportation.

Bemis Park Historic Neighborhood Tour – Bus Routes

9 Oct

Join us October 13 & 14

Mode Shift Omaha is happy to be working with Restoration Exchange Omaha on their upcoming tour of the historic Bemis Park neighborhood. October 13 – 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., MSO will be providing bike valet services at Augustana Lutheran Church, 3647 Lafayette Avenue.

Image may contain: sky, house, tree, plant and outdoor

In addition to bike valet, we are recommending that people consider arriving by bus as there is very limited parking in these historic neighborhoods. Please note: Saturday and Sunday service will have different schedules. All times are approximate. We recommend using Google Maps for plotting a more precise plan from your specific location.

From North Omaha Transit Center

From North Omaha Transit Center (NOTC)on 30th Street, one block south of Ames, we recommend using Route 3. Saturday the route is every 30 minutes, leaving NOTC on the 15s and 45s. Disembark at 40th and Hamilton, walk east, on Hamilton to 38th and turn right. Lafayette and the Church will be on the left. Sunday frequency is 60 minutes, leaving NOTC on the 15s.

From South Omaha Transit Center

The South Omaha Transit Center (SOTC) located on the south side of Metro Community College’s South Campus, is also on Route 3, and that will be the most direct route. Saturday frequency is every 30 minutes on the top and bottom of the hour. Sunday frequency is 60 minutes leaving SOTC on the hour. Ride the 3 bus to 40th and Hamilton, then walk east to 38th Street, turn right, Lafayette will be on your left.

From Westroads Transit Center

From Westroads Transit Center (WRTC), located at the northwest corner of the Westroads Mall parking lot, take the Route 4 toward downtown. Saturday the route is every 30 minutes leaving WRTC on :03s and :33s. Sunday frequency is 60 minutes, leaving WRTC on the :03s. Disembark at 38th and Cuming Street, cross Cuming and walk north approximately 3 blocks. Augustana Lutheran will be on your right.

From Downtown

From downtown, catch the Route 44 bus heading west at 13th and Farnam. Deboard the bus at 38th and Cuming, walk north on 38th Street approximately 3 blocks to Augustana Lutheran. Saturday frequency is 30 minutes leaving downtown on the :11s and :41s; Sunday is hourly on the :11s.

A Huge Thank You to all of our supporters during Omaha Gives!

29 May

We are very grateful for the support that rang in during Omaha Gives this year totaling our final donations to a whopping $12,860! This amount also includes a $1,000 participation prize that we received at midnight during the 24-hour challenge. With contributions like yours, this will help us move forward in a lot of new and exciting ways.

Recently, we’ve done quite a lot to advocate for safer and more efficient transportation options for everyone in the Omaha area. It’s important to us that we highlight those for any potential members who may be reading this. Below are a few wins that have taken place:

  • We launched member committees to further help educate and engage others on ways to stay proactive about transit options. The following committees are now actively seeking members: Biking Team, Election Team, Transit Team, Transparency Team, Urban Land Use Team, and the Walkability Team.
  • We initiated the intersection surveys throughout Omaha and reporting content to city officials for review. Learn about the nominated intersections on our blog.
  • We advocated for dialogue around the development of the Civic Center Site to ensure diverse and safe transportation options are considered. See blog post here.
  • We won the Friends of the Environment Award at Earth Day Omaha which came through a board nomination process. We are so honored to be recognized for this effort!
  • We developed a resource library at the Omaha Bicycle Company to help others stay informed about all things transportation.
  • We hired a Membership Coordinator!
  • We continue to help educate and engage through member-led Ride Alongs (traveling to different districts across the city via bus tours and historic site visits); co-organizing the Citizens’ Academy, at our Monthly Meetings and at our monthly Coffee Chats.

Building the Momentum

Last year we worked on our strategic plan, and identified goals we hope to achieve in the next few years according to our theory of change. Here’s where we stand:

  • We’ve continued to advocate for transparency from City Officials on topics like the Bond Issuing, reallocation of funds towards road safety and most importantly, invitations to the conversations of policy change before they are presented to legislature.
  • Continue to host coffee chats with local groups to build awareness and partnerships around safe transit options and healthy neighborhoods. So far this year, coffee chats included meet-ups with Seventy-Five North at the Highlander campus; Bcycle and the City Bike Sharing committee at the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge; Find out about other recent coffee chats here.
  • Educating our members through meetings, events and blog posts sharing active ways of engagement to secure a more diverse transit landscape across the Omaha Metropolitan Area.